Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saving Lives and Saving Souls

This week was so neat.  We were able to witness a baptism in the zone of a less active family Sister Good and I began teaching well over a year ago.  It was so incredible to see how strong they are.  He is such an example to me. 

I love my mission.  I love you all so much.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here.  We are working hard to do our best... and I will see you soon enough! :)

I wanted to share something with you this week...

This week we were asked to write a talk on 'Becoming a Disciple of Christ' for Elder Per Malm who is coming tomorrow.
I wanted to share mine with you. 

Luke 9:24 has become one of my favorite scriptures on the mission.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 

As we give our lives to him, he can make so much more out of them than we ever could hope to dream of.  The greatest joy in my life has come from turning my life over to him and beginning to become a disciple of Christ. 

As I thought of what it is to be a disciple of Christ, images of the paramedic program kept coming to mind and experiences I learned from them.  The incredible people I learned from, how it shaped my life... and how it was an exemplary situation of becoming a disciple of Christ. 

There are many similarities between saving lives, and saving souls. 
I would like to share ten that stood out to me.

#1- A manner of oath to help
I remember beginning the paramedic program and all the paperwork that went into it.  The many promises we had to make to protect patients.  In Mosiah 18 we read about the oath we took at baptism, to 'mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort'.  It is our oath to Heavenly Father... that if we truly love Him, we will help our brothers and sisters.

#2- Find the right desire
There are many reasons people enter into the field of emergency medicine.  However, adrenaline, pride and other sources of desire burn out quickly enough.  Charity is the only desire that replenishes itself and lifts the holder of it.  It is Heavenly Father's source... HIS desire.  So it needs to be with us as missionaries.  As people.  If we are in this for the wrong reason, however good it is, it WILL burn out.  If we are to wear the Savior's name and represent Him, we must see them as He does. 

#3 Leave your nets and follow Him
You must put this work first.  Going back to emergency medicine.... had you been doing something for your own enjoyment, and the ambulance tones went off announcing a call, would you ignore it? Would you silence it and put it to the side? NEVER.  If it is not that way in saving lives, why is it that way in the work of saving souls?  Physical death is temporary... spiritual can be permanent... these people need you.  They NEED you.  Please leave your nets and follow Him.

#4 How can you practice what you haven't studied
 How comfortable would you feel dialing 911 knowing the Paramedic you finds you has never read a text book? So it is with missionary work.  If you do not study, you will miss the precious knowledge of those who have gone before you.  They have kept careful note of the precious knowledge they've gained so that you can learn from it and bless these people.  Please... study it.  Soak it in.  Let it become a part of you, so that it can spill from you to those around you.

#5 You cannot merely study, you MUST act
I remember our teachers constantly drilling us with scenarios.  We ALWAYS had ATLEAST one a day.  Because it goes back to the truth that you must practice what you preach.  You cannot study about hearts and expect to save a life without knowing the BASICS of CPR.  You may have found out where Kolob is, but unless these people understand the path of faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end... the precious truths YOU teach them... they will never get to it.  Training scenarios, or lesson plans and role plays, you must get the mistakes out in training so that when you practice them, you hurt neither yourself nor the patient.  If practice makes perfect, then lack of practice makes perfect IMPERFECT practice. 

#6 Be Prepared
After every call, in the down time, we restock the ambulances... preparing every needful thing so that we have it when the situation calls for it.  Hearing stories of paramedics who could have saved patients had their ambulances been stocked with proper medicine, or a charged AED always ate at me.  A life COULD have been saved, had they been prepared.  How many times in life have you felt prompted to give a Book of Mormon you didn't have, or give a pamphlet you left in the car.  Be prepared.  I challenge each of you and myself to always be ready, so that you will never live with the regret of what might have been. 

#7 Obedience
Just as obedience is the first law of heaven... I can't think of how many times I failed scenarios in the ambulance because I forgot the few obedient beginning steps of practice.  They come up before you ever touch a patient.  Before you get close to them.  Basic obedience is there to protect you and the patient.  Because without obedience, you CANNOT do the work you need to do.  Those who wrote the rules have gone before you.  They have learned from trial and error (their own and from those around them) and merely want to save you from the same heartache.  Why wade the past regrets of others? Listen to the heartfelt advice of those who've gone before you. 

#8 Work with your partner
You will NEVER find an ambulance with just one person.  At bare minimum there are two (a driver and a medical personnel).  This is a work that cannot be done by one person alone.  So it is with missionary work.  It is too much for just you or your companion.  You must work together to do it successfully.  Any two people can work to save a life if they have the same goal, if they do these ten things, there past differences subside and they are able to work together fluently.  It doesn't matter where your companion is from, how different your personalities are, you can be a miracle duo and bless each other! I think back to my training group of students.  We all had different weaknesses.  But as we were put together, we helped each other overcome them and eventually we became strong in all aspects. 

 #9 Follow the Spirit
First, you must be calm.  You must trust him.  In an ambulance, you ride up to scenes of chaos and you must turn them into something calm if the work is to be done.  You must trust the spirit in missionary work.  Know if you are prepared, you shall not fear.  Second, you must follow him to help these people.  To find the source of the problem.  You cannot be distracted by the cuts, you must use your instincts to find internal wounds bandages wont fix.  Find the source and you can help heal them.  You must always follow the spirit.

#10 This is an oath for life
The most beautiful thing about this work is that it is forever a part of you.  In Emergency Medicine, there is a 'Good Samaritan Law'.  You are expected to continue to help, respecting boundaries.  So it is with the precious call of a mission.  This work will not end.  Just as Elder Holland spoke on, this call, the call for discipleship is one for life.  You cannot go back.  You were never meant to.  Feed my sheep is a lifelong plea from the Savior. 
We must continue. 

Nearing the end of my mission, this is most comforting to me.  It will never end.  Though my days with a black nametag will end shortly, my days serving others will continue as long as I live.  This is MY lifelong call, the call to discipleship... I am ever humbled and honored by it.  I have never been involved in such fulfilling work. 
That joy awaits you.

Please heed your call.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 I love you mi familia! :)
nos vemos tan pronto!

con amor,
Hermana Jardine

gomez and I enjoying our balcony! :)
Hiking Hueco tanks........ super awesome! :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

I Know Why I Am Here

I know why I am here...
Both in the mission and in life.
And it is such a calm feeling. 

I know where I'm going...
both after this life, and after my mission.
And I am looking forward to home.  :) I know that there is still good ahead. 

I love the quote by Jeffrey R. Holland,

"Faith is for the future.  Faith builds on the past, but never longs to be there."

I know the future is good.  :) I am excited for it.  I will do my best to set good goals and follow my Heavenly Father... and enjoy every minute of it! :)
Both in the mission these last few weeks, and for my life there-after.

Mommy always tells me... but I know it.  :) LIFE IS GOOD!

Miracle of the week:

I know there is a reason I am here.
From serving here over the past months and year.... I have come to know and understand truly and exactly why I was called to serve here, in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission.  I love it with all my heart.  I have met people that have changed my life... and it's scary to think how different my life would be had I served anywhere else.
This was my place. This IS my place.  And it forever will be my place.  It will always hold a special place in my heart. 
More specifically though... I have gained a testimony this week that THIS is my place, for my last few precious weeks.  There is a reason I am here.  And I am learning why.
Most incredible miracle of my mission:

As Sister Gomez and I pulled into our new 'home' in upper valley El Paso, we both felt overwhelmingly that there is a reason we are here, together.  We were reassured by President Miller's words reedifying it, and even our ward members and their encouragement.  They are SO happy to have sisters.  Our bishop has repeatedly told us he knows and feels there are so many good things ahead. We feel so blessed.  So many incredible people prayed us here. Some who knew they were praying, and some who didn't. 
The best birthday present I ever had:
Last week as I told you member of the bishopric's brother in law passed away.  He was shot and killed in Juarez.  We were asked to sing at the funeral.  It was chilling, and yet peaceful to help a family through the situation. 
And death can be like someone opening the door to outside.  Everyone still in the room misses the person that left... but they can feel the breeze from outside the door left... and it leaves them wondering where it came from.  
Damaris was one of those people.  
We went over on my birthday, the 5th, last week to help out the family as best we could and teach Yolanda, the aunt, who had begun taking the lessons.  
Damaris is 18 and she had been visiting from ohio.  She was very close to her cousin who was killed.  She is a very mature and strong girl.  And just plain innately GOOD.  
As we taught Yolanda about the Book of Mormon and the restoration, Damaris listened.  Intently.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and well and left them to read alma 40.
As we came back the next day to teach them the plan of salvation, Yolanda hadn't had a chance to read, but Damaris had.  WOW.  I have NEVER seen someone soak in so much truth so quickly.  The following day, we came back, and though Yolanda wasn't able to be there, Damaris was ready and waiting.  We spoke of baptism, and she was reassured. She wanted it so badly.  She had so many questions.  We finally knelt and she gave the most heartfelt prayer I have ever heard.  Seeing her tears of comfort really changed me. 
I think this was the first time in my mission I ever truly understood the message we bring. 
To many we bring them their footing before they need it, before it's pulled out from under them through trials and they land on the gospel.  
For her..... it was the salve to an aching soul. 
I know her cousin Jairo, who just barely passed through the veil was her missionary.  Is her missionary.  Through his passing she has gained the gospel... and in a year the family is planning on doing his work as well. 
She recieved a strong answer, and if all goes well, she will be an official member of the church this Saturday.  She came to El Paso for a 2 and a half week vacation.... a visit for her cousin's funeral.  But she's going home with the gospel, equipped with the tools to make it to our real home.  And her branch in Ohio is excited to meet her.  :)
My birthday present this year was a loving reassurance from my Heavenly Father that miracles happen.  That He listens to our small prayers.  That good things DO happen to good people.... but often they come THROUGH trials.  He gave the the beautiful assurance that I AM making a difference... And that we ARE needed... here and now.

I love my mission.
Thank you President Miller for all both you and Sister Miller do. 
I will always love you both so so much!

And I'll keep workin hard these last few weeks! :) it's just the beginning! 

Missionary for life!
Sister Jardine

I love you so much familia of mine!
Can't wait to see you all soon!!!! :)
Keep soaking in the days and remember LIFE IS GOOD!


Juarez Mexico from our balcony... the gulley on is mexico, including the mountain... ja... don't worry mom... i was promised i'll be okay :) I'll see ya in a few weeks.

missionary feet! :) ja... and beautiful aftermath of summer tan-lines

Maggie and Zaira! :) one of our investigators... we shared a birthday party! :)

Momma Mora! :)

The Gonzales's gave us missionary build-a-bears for our birthdays!  SUPER CUTE! :)